Why shouldn't women LTB?

(174 Posts)

This thread is prompted by two recent threads about the Relationship section.

It seems to me that 'society' is threatened by the thought that a woman might, of her own volition, up and leave a bad relationship. In my case, it was suggested I LTB because my DH is an alcoholic. Perfectly reasonable: but other commenters suggested I was 'selfish' and 'not taking my vows seriously' and that I should support him because he has a disease.

It seems that the 'grand narrative' is that the woman should stay with her man no matter how shitty the relationship. And this is reinforced by, for example, mainstream films. Second marriages are alway shown as flimsy, throwaway and meaningless, and the ex-wife pines after the husband she cruelly threw away. Two recent-ish offenders are 'Liar, Liar' and 'Die Hard'.

What do you think? Why is the default advice for women to stay and hold everything together, no matter how crap her man is treating her?

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-13 17:49:44

Is it? I hadn't noticed - esp. since 1 in 3 marriages ends in divorce!

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 17:50:51

Not here it isn't. I regularly read posts urging women to LTB.

SirChenjin Mon 23-Sep-13 17:53:24

Me too. The cry of LTB goes up regularly here on MN (sometimes justified, other times not so much...)

If anything, I think women generally are far less tolerant of crappy situations now - and rightly so - than they were even 20 years ago when I got married.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 18:02:42

So women need justification for leaving a relationship do they SirChenjin?

It is still the case that it is the woman's responsibility for the state of the relationship. You still see even on MN a lot of posts insisting that the woman play a conciliatory role even when it's the man's behaviour at fault.

I have a big problem with 'RomComs' and the way that women are portrayed in them.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:07:37

I think that where DCs are concerned, whoever LTB should have justification. What's more, I think that it should be a last resort.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:19:24

I think the default is that it should be a last resort.

But actually, why should it be?

Why is the default to stay in a relationship unless there's good reason not to, instead of not be in a relationship unless there's good reason to be in one?

We can argue about what good reasons are, but it's the default position that interests me. I think it's still the assumption that it's better to be in a relationship than not, therefore you need a reason to leave one (the last resort) rather than it's better to be single rather than as a last resort, enter into one.


YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:23:29

I don't agree Dione. I think children need adults surrounding them who love them and make them feel safe. I don't think this needs to be a biological mother and father in the same house, and I especially don't think this should be at the detriment to one or both parents' happiness.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:24:52

YY Basil.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:27:47

Why should it be a last resort?
Because the DCs will be deprived of time with parents.
The financial im

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 18:30:32

Time and time again, women post on MN that they don't have a "good enough" reason to leave what is often a very shitty relationship

There is even a thread called "too good to leave, too bad to stay" (or summat) < waves to anyone on that thread, my sympathies are with you but fgs just end it >

Every body has the right to leave a relationship that is not working for them, but the overwhelming societal narrative is women should be working at it, making excuses, overlooking selfishness

Why ? Any relationship is not better than none at all.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:33:43

Doh, hit post by mistake.

The financial implications of break up mean increased difficulty for most people, particularly the PWC (usually the mother).

Why shouldn't parents do everything that they can to improve the relationship? They owe it to the DCs.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 18:35:26

Yep, Dione. That would be both the parents you mean there.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:24

So women need justification for leaving a relationship do they SirChenjin?

Erm, yes. When you enter into marriage, you're agreeing to abide by those vows, for better or worse. Obviously there are exceptions to that, as there are to any contract that is made, but to leave without justification sets a very dangerous precedent that when you're bored, you just leave. It's not only unfair to your partner, but think about the example you're setting for your children as well.

Men get slated on here for leaving without any explanation, so yes, I hold women to the same standard. You just don't leave a marriage without a good reason.

tombliboouun Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:56

Abusive alcoholic - understandable you should 'ltb'. However, I've seen many a thread on here urging the op to ltb for the most minor issue. Ltb is not the solution toeverything.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 18:36:56

Women are expected to work harder on relationships. For God's sake, men that do a bit of child care and clean the bog every so often are still regarded as saints in many quarters.

meditrina Mon 23-Sep-13 18:37:36

There's a thread going at the moment questioning why the advice on MN is "always" LTB. I do not think there is a default here to stick things together.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Sep-13 18:41:02

First of all, a lot of people aren't married at all. There aren't any vows. Others are married in civil or humanist ceremonies without such vows. And 'for better, for worse' also comes with 'love, honour and respect.'

'Men get slated on here for leaving without any explanation, so yes, I hold women to the same standard. You just don't leave a marriage without a good reason.'

I have been here for 8 years and never seen a thread full of 'LTB' that involved an OP who is unhappy and may wish to live for no 'good' reason. 9 times out of 10, there is abuse of some sort involved and/or addiction.

MN is better than some places I've seen for advising women to leave when they're unhappy, rather than 'talk it out' and 'work on it'.

I do think that it's seen as another facet of women's work, given we're <ahem> much better at emotions and all that.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:49:30

I take the point that the PWC - usually the woman - will suffer economic hardship as a result of relationship breakdown, but my solution isn't that therefore you'd better sit tight, it's that PWC's shouldn't suffer economically.

Men have always kept women under control by using the threat of poverty. Plus ca change.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:51:13

I have literally never seen a thread on MN advising an OP to LTB for trivial reasons. Literally never.

I have seen threads where posters have come on and remonstrated with posters advising the OP to LTB for minor issues, but that's because those posters don't recognise abuse when they see it.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:20

We live in a world where women are routinely told that leaving is the last resort and they have to jump through the most unreasonable hoops before they can do that.

While men are basically told that if they do the minimum, she should be grateful and she's a princess if she expects more.

A little more permission to leave for a woman is a good and healthy thing. We are the guardians of the family and the guardians of the relationship. It's a shit job.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:53:39

Absolutely AF.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 18:55:45

I'm not saying that the advice is given on here trivially at all. I was responding to scallopsrgreat, whom I quoted in my response.

Yes, women need a justification to leave, as do men. That justification can be, "I'm bored and want something different." or can be, "My partner is an EA alcoholic." but to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 18:56:49

Basil, when relationships end, unless the two parties continue to live together, financial hardship is unavoidable. Two households cost more to run than one.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 18:59:05

'Last resort', 'no good reason' all pretty subjective stuff. People should be able to leave relationships if they don't want them to continue. As Basil says why is the default that people should be in a relationship even when children are concerned? And the other assumption is that the requirement is a heterosexual, monogamous relationship.

I think is frightening to society (and specifically, men) if women start leaving relationships and marriages, especially. How can women be controlled otherwise?

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 19:00:40

I don't think the OP was commenting on the general state of things here more on the general state of things from other sources.

I don't think splitting up means that DC see either parent less. In fact in some cases it probably has an opposite effect where the parents get space away from their child to do other things and therefore are more able to put other things to the side and really spend time with them. I'm not talking Disney Parenting here - just straightforward looking forward to spending time with your child, talking to them, doing things with them - the kind of thing that it's difficult to find energy to do if you're a single parent with no time to yourself ever, for example.

I mean, yes, if you added up all the "hours per week spent in the same house as mum" and "hours per week spent in the same house as dad" it will add up to a maximum of 168 rather than the two combined being likely over this, but being present with them both at the same time isn't magically better...

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 19:02:47

But Diane why should the financial hardship automatically be shouldered by the PWC?
Research shows that 5 years after a divorce, women are poorer than when they were married while men are richer than when they were married.

That hardly seems as though the financial hardship supposedly occasioned by relationship breakdown, is being shared out evenly, does it. I wonder why not.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 19:10:33

" to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person."

Hmm. Discuss.

2 things spring to mind.

In a short term relationship with no commitment on either side, why is it unfair to the other person to leave without a reason? That rather implies that once you've entered a relationship with someone, you have the right to continue having a relationship with them and I believe you don't have the right to have a relationship with someone who doesn't want to have a relationship with you. I don't see why it's unfair to leave that sort of relationship for no particular reason and I don't believe that normal people leave more committed relationships for no reason - I've never, ever heard of anyone leaving for no reason at all, just because they woke up one day and had no reason to stay. Leaving is usually a positive choice, not an accidental drifting into something.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 19:12:30

"to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person."

Take that statement to the Nth degree, place it in the head of a controlling individual, and you have big problems

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 19:14:59

IMO, the converse is true

It is "unfair" (and damaging) to put pressure on someone to stay in a relationship they no longer want

Pickturethis Mon 23-Sep-13 19:17:43

So if a poster writes that her husband has left because he's unhappy, and doesn't want to discuss it or try again.

The advice will be that's fine it's his decision?

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 19:18:19

"...to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person."

So it's fair to stay in a relationship you've effectively checked out of? That you're not happy with any more? That you're bored of?

I wouldn't want to have a relationship with someone who felt any of those things.

Although, and perhaps this is what you are trying to say, life and especially marriage and parenthood is often about thinking about others' needs instead of your own. Not unreasonably, of course, but for example if you do find yourself feeling a bit low and nostalgic for the old days of shagging randoms, then the first response isn't to say "I'm bored of this. I'm out." - you'd first look and think, well, is this a fleeting thought? Is this worth risking my marriage and my family for? And if you are, overall, happy, then it probably isn't.

But if it's not working or you've grown apart or that part of your life has come to an end, then that's a different thing - it would be lying to yourself, and effectively, lying to them, to stay in the relationship.

I think that children can be very happy and settled with parents in two households. I think it would be great if the "nuclear family" model broke down and became just one of a series of options, including single people raising children, extended families living together, people making a mutual decision with a platonic friend to have and raise children as separate co-parents, communal living, gay parents being more accepted and more of a normal thing, etc. Just because man+woman living together is the easiest way to get pregnant, it doesn't mean it's the best or most morally right way. (In fact any of the options which involve more adults being in the house for the earlier, intense period of childrearing is probably easier!)

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 19:20:37

Pick, what else would you suggest ? He be forced to stay ? No woman would be happy with that, surely ?

Anniegetyourgun Mon 23-Sep-13 19:24:41

Stand by your man... hmm, the lady who sang that got divorced. Four times. If she'd lived longer she might have made it five.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 19:25:09

The financial hardship is shouldered by PWC, NRP and DCs. Moving, new home expenses and running two households instead of one costs more money. The reason the PWC is often still worse off 5 years later tends to be down to childcare costs (money and time).

Basil, how do you suggest this can be avoided?

Scallops, where there are no children, I think "I'm not happy" is absolutely a good enough reason to end a relationship. When children are involved, it's a different matter. Happiness is not a constant. If a person is unhappy, then I think that it deserves exploration to see why and what can be done about it.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 19:25:39

Basil put it better than I did. You don't have a right to a relationship with another person. If your partner turns around tomorrow and says "actually I don't want this any more" then that is perfectly fair and okay for them to do that. It might not feel like that to you of course, and certainly it is unfair in the same way that it is unfair if someone with a healthy lifestyle gets suddenly ill, or if a tree blows down onto your car, but it's not unfair in the way of being made redundant because your boss doesn't like you, or losing out on something because an advantage was given to somebody else. It's just unfortunate. Devastating, yes, but nobody is at fault because of it.

I think that people don't like to acknowledge this because if it is true for other people then it has to be true for them. And the thought of your partner leaving without you having done something to make them leave is awful. It's scary for people to admit to themselves that they don't have that control over their lives - a bit like how rape myths pervade because people want to believe "If I behave in a certain way, I can avoid or at least lower my chances of rape".

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 19:26:22

Thank you Yoni, that is exactly what I was trying to say, just far less eloquently, clearly grin

I think there's a really damaging trend with people (both men and women) just up and leaving. You say that you've never heard of someone just waking up one day and leaving? Well, that happened to me. We weren't fighting, there weren't problems (so far as I could tell), and it was really a matter of he didn't want to be in a relationship because he didn't want to put in the effort (and we didn't have a particularly trying relationship, so it wasn't me being a drain!)

I would never suggest that someone stay in a relationship where they were truly unhappy, but even amongst my friends, I hear relationship advice given that makes me cringe. Relationships take work, and if you're not willing to put in that effort, you shouldn't enter into one in the first place.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 19:30:10

And, god, I find it a scary thought that DP could just leave tomorrow if he wanted to. But then, the thought that he could be sat there wanting to leave but not feeling it was fair to me is probably worse? Plus I console myself with the fact that he wouldn't have asked me to marry him if he had any doubts that we would last long term, but it is a frightening thought, and I can understand why people might create falsehoods of "People should only leave if they have a good reason to leave", because it means they either only have to make that decision if their partner is a dick, and they only risk it happening to them if they behave like a dick.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 19:31:26

"The reason the PWC is often still worse off 5 years later tends to be down to childcare costs (money and time)."

So why is the NRP richer?

Why are all the costs with the PWC?

What's to do to stop it? Stop punishing women with poverty for the petty treason of leaving their husband.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 19:39:40

But reggiebean, why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who couldn't be bothered to put in the effort of having a relationship with you?

You're well shot of him, surely?

I just don't see the huge objection to adults living together because they want to live together, rather than out of fear of poverty, loneliness, etc.

And Yoni if your DH suddenly decided that he really didn't like you that much, not enough to carry on living with you a) chances are he'd be an utter dick because reasonable people don't suddenly decide they don't like their partners unless they've been living a lie for years and b) although you'd obviously feel devastated about it, you'd also recognise that you can't carry on living with this man who feels so differently about you that he's become a different person to you.

EduCated Mon 23-Sep-13 19:42:39

I'm of an age where more of my friends have divorced parents than parents who are still together, or at least seems like it. The ones whose parents stayed together until the bitter end certainly don't seem to be as happy with the situationas those where their parents split that bit earlier on, and didn't stick it out trying to reconcile things when it was futile.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 19:46:50

Well obviously people do walk out because they can't be bothered any more, and perhaps they are more selfish than people who wait it out to see if the urge (or whatever it is) disappears or can be satiated inside of the marriage. But overall I have to disagree that the trend is damaging - I think it is a good thing. What would be better would be for people who aren't cut out for marriage, or who are looking perhaps for a more open kind of marriage (where's SGB when you need her? grin) to be able to admit that and for that to be a valid option rather than an outlandish decision.

Maybe my relationship is weird, or perhaps it's early days, but I don't find it work at all and I go through long periods sometimes where I just don't feel like doing the "couple thing" or want to be with anyone at all really (possibly depression related) - obviously I am there as much as I can be for DS - but we seem to muddle along. I do quite often see this notion of relationships being work/requiring effort etc but if anything, mine reduces work/effort because it reduces the amount of housework, thinking, organising etc that I have to do myself. I have heard people at work talking about how they like spending time with their girlfriend but sometimes they want to just sit in their bedroom and wank grin or something, and I just find that bizarre, that they feel compelled to spend all of their at-home time together. But (as I feel like I've said too many times now...) maybe we are the ones who are weird. Maybe I just got lucky in happening to find someone who is tolerant of my non-effortness grin

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 19:48:17

I've just remembered a couple I know where the wife left "for no reason". At least, that's what he told everyone and that's what it looked like to their mutual friends (and to him to some extent tbh).

What had actually happened, was that she had been to counselling and had some enormous light-bulb moments about her relationship with her mother and her father and therefore with her DH. She recognised that her whole marriage had been a lie - her going through the motions, not really feeling it. In fact her whole life had been like that - friendships, sometimes job choices. Her parents had been profoundly abusive in their different ways and she had also been gang-raped as a teenager (something she never told her DH) and she cut herself off from herself to protect herself. The counselling she went through put her back in touch with herself, it was painful, it was shocking, it was totally and completely devastating for her, but she had to face up to the fact that she had lived a lie for years.

So it looked as though she'd smashed apart a marriage "for no reason". There they were bimbling along, looking happy, getting on. Next minute she was filing for divorce, because she realised this man she lived with was a stranger, because she had been a stranger to herself. And as she got to know him all over again as herself, she realised that she had really nothing in common with him and if she'd been herself, she would never have thought she loved him.

What should she have done?

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 19:48:51

Basil Yes, I am better off now, but I feel for his other ex-gf's, because he clearly has never grown up and left a path of heartbroken women in his wake.

I think the reason he's done this is because it's seen as acceptable to just up and leave a relationship because one day you wake up and miss being single. I've been with my dp for five years now, and yes, there are times when I miss being single on a night out, but I would never throw away the good things for one night of fun.

If you continue to just move on from relationship to relationship as soon as you get bored, you're never going to build those skills that you need to have a successful relationship, in work, in friendships, or in your personal life.

It takes work to stay happy in any relationship, and everyone will struggle at one point or another, but I find that the work is well worth it when you come out the other side, having learned more about the other person, and with a stronger relationship than you had before.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 19:53:06

If my husband woke up one day and decided he didn't want to be with me any longer, he would be free to leave as soon as he wished.

I would not want someone to stay out of pity, a misplaced sense of duty, or for the kids. How demeaning that would be.

TheSporkforeatingkyriarchy Mon 23-Sep-13 19:59:56

There is the narrative that a woman holds the family together, but there is also the becoming more common knowledge that one is in far more danger once they leave than if they stay - once no longer under an oppressors control, it comes to the end game which is often grievous harm or even death - most are killed after they leave. I think pushing a victim to leave the bastard without ensuring a very strong safety support network can be quite risky and dangerous. And it goes to the macro level as well of course.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 20:02:31

But again reggie, surely all those exes are better off without him?

And also, if they're heartbroken it's because they've invested themselves in this relationship where this guy is clearly not investing in them. Whcih women are socialised to do and I think it is very harmful to us.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 20:03:59

But reggie, that's because you appreciate what you have and when you have a fleeting feeling of "Oh I miss this part of being single" you are able to weigh it up and realise that actually, if you were single you would miss what you had now even more.

If you're the kind of person who can't/doesn't want to do this and weigh up the options then you didn't really have the kind of relationship you would miss in the first place.

Relationships can't succeed/fail. They aren't a game or something to win. This is what we are told, all the time, when the reality is "this is working right now". If it stops working, then you have a choice - to see if it can work, or to end it. Either one is valid. But it would be better if people could be more honest with themselves/their partners about which kind of person they are in the first place.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 20:07:58

But it would be better if people could be more honest with themselves/their partners about which kind of person they are in the first place.

I agree 100%. I just think that if you're not willing to emotionally invest yourself, or put the effort in, you shouldn't be in a relationship in the first place. It's damaging to enter into a relationship with the attitude that, "When the going gets tough, I can just leave." if the other person isn't on the same page.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 20:12:43

Absolutely reggie.

But because hetero-normative monogamy is promoted as the only valid model of a relationship, people tie themselves in knots trying to do it with the wrong people or at the wrong time or just ever if they're the sort who would never take to it.

If society could accept non-hetero-normative relationships as valid, then perhaps all these people who get themselves involved in misleading themselves and their partners about what they want from this relationships, would stop doing it, stop hurting other people and find people who want the same things as them and are able to recognise and accept that.

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:14:29

The NRP still has to provide a home for themselves, run their home and provide maintenance for their children.

That's expensive.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 20:14:53

Because to be fair to them, I suspect people like your flighty ex probably don't recognise what they want - because there's no space in our society to want that and be taken seriously as a person and consider yourself seriously as a person. So they kid themselves about what they want and end up hurting people.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 20:15:55

Clearly not quite as expensive as being the RP Kim, otherwise the stats would be different.

GetStuffezd Mon 23-Sep-13 20:16:07

"...to leave without any reason isn't fair to the other person."
Yes it is. Anyone should be able to leave a relationship at any time. It is possible to leave a relationship while showing respect towards the other person but nobody should ever be in a relationship they don't want to be in.

Furthermore, I've been the person who senses their partner isn't happy but knows they feel too guilty to end it. He knew I was starting to think long term about us. I sensed his pulling away and I went into overdrive - "must work on relationship, must make him love me more" and it was horrific. He got the benefits of a desperate woman trying to please him and I got a disinterested wanker pushing his luck.

I wish he'd just told me he didn't want to be with me any more.

MadBusLady Mon 23-Sep-13 20:18:18

The advice will be that's fine it's his decision?

That is in fact the exact advice being given on a thread I was on tonight where the bloke has basically ended it. Obviously it's not fine for the poster, she's upset. But she is being advised to let him go and concentrate on herself.

reggiebean Mon 23-Sep-13 20:20:04

Basil That's a very valid point actually, I hadn't considered it that way. I would hope that someone knowing me personally wouldn't be afraid to be honest with me, regardless of the situation, but I can see how if you're constantly used to stuffing your feelings, it would be difficult to be honest with yourself and others. Which is a shame, really, but a different topic altogether I think smile

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 20:21:01

Of course. And this is all tied into relationships (and especially marriage) being seen as a "must have" - it all goes round in circles! The shame/pity about being single as though it's an awful thing. The assumption that single people must want a relationship. The demonisation of casual sex and of casual sex relationships (which thankfully is/are becoming more acceptable now) and, as in this thread, the assumption that you should stay in a relationship you already have by default, and only leave if something is wrong, rather than the relationship being something which should add something to your life.

I've said this before on here but when I posted about my ex, must have been 4 or 5 years ago now(!) people asked me what I always think of as a very "mumsnet" question - "Why are you with him?" (More commonly phrased, these days, as "What do you get out of this relationship now?") I was really taken aback because nobody had ever asked me why I was in a relationship before. I hadn't ever stopped to ask myself the question. My reply was something along the lines of "Why shouldn't we be together? We love each other." -- now, if I was to look back, I don't think that even the definition of "love" would apply, because the relationship I had with my ex was never love as I can see it now. So the main part of my reply, really was "Why shouldn't we be together?" I was very much in that headspace of, you have the relationship, nothing particularly bad is happening in it, so you stay. That's the status quo. That was probably our whole relationship, and we did the normal things as happen in a relationship, like moving in together, getting engaged, having a child, because that's just what people do. I wonder how many people go through life like this, just moving onto the next stage because that's what happens next, never questioning why they are with that person. I would never do that now. In fact I don't need to - the question about moving in, getting engaged/married, having a child, they are all happening as and when it seems logical for that thing to happen, not because "that's what you do next".

I hope this doesn't come across as attacking or bitchy, because it's not meant to. I am just astounded looking back that I did things for those reasons and not these reasons. I don't have to question why I'm in a relationship any more, because I am reminded very regularly why I love DP and how much I appreciate having him around, in my life and in my home and in my family. I never had that before, I suspect many people don't have that, and I think that is very sad.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 20:21:22

The NRP is often better off because they do not have the money, energy and time sapping children. Hence they are referred to as NRP.

The PWC, regardless of gender, often ends up worse off because they have children. What do you suggest can be done about this Basil?confused

Stop punishing women with poverty for the petty treason of leaving their husband.
this is one of the most ridiculous things I have read. Regardless of who leaves, regardless of gender, it is the PWC who doesn't have the time and energy of the NRP to devote to their career. My aunt left my uncle. He is the PWC. No one punished either of them. He is poorer because he has the children.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 20:23:41

My reply was xposted with lots of others. The "of course" was in reply to Reggie's post about not getting into a relationship if you can't be honest about how emotionally invested you are likely to be.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 20:27:07

Although I might add that even though casual sex relationships are more common/accepted now, there is still a proportion of (usually men, TBH) who will enter into a relationship promising emotional commitment whereas actually, for them, it's just sex. Because there is this prevailing view that women want commitment and men want sex. Actually, no, some people, of both genders, want just sex. And some people of both genders want a relationship. It shouldn't be hard to find someone with the same agenda to your own!

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:27:39


The suggestion was that the NRP has more money than before the separation.

They have to run their own house, support themselves and children when they come round and provide maintenance. If they are not doing more hours, then that's still a lot of outgoings (assuming they're paying maintenance)

And of course, the PWC may have to cut hours to work round the energy, time swapping children.

Separation is expensive for both parents. Many people cannot afford to separate.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 20:28:08

Then he is a statistical anomoly Dione.

Because male PWC's are more likely to be better off than the average PWC. (Most of whom are female.)

But I think this is a bit of a sideline, unless you're arguing that people should stay together because otherwise they'll be poorer. That's a valid argument but a bleak one, I think. I know that I'm probably poorer now than I would have been if I'd stayed with XP, but as YoniBotts describes, my relationship would have been pretty shit and my DC's dysfunctional and unhappy. I don't blame someone for staying in order to avoid poverty, but my god I don't envy them either.

kickassangel Mon 23-Sep-13 20:40:17

One of the reasons that it is hard to make the decision to split is just how much work and energy is required.

And not just the practical stuff. Telling your extended family, explaining to friends/colleagues. Dealing with the emotional upset of the kids.

These are not small things to navigate. Add to that the exertion needed to move house, divide your belongings, work out the finances etc.

tbh, the idea of moving house (again!) just fills me with dread. I've done it enough and just want to let life move along without any major upheaval. So, he may be a bit of a bastard, but not quite enough to make me leave him.

SDhopeful Mon 23-Sep-13 20:57:04

So, he may be a bit of a bastard, but not quite enough to make me leave him. Yes, very well put - I think there are many of us who understand exactly what you mean.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 20:57:13

I definitely hear you kickassangel. It seems like a huge thing when you think of it in terms of that. But if you try not to think about the actual split and think more about life in general with/without him, then it makes it easier to make the decision without worrying about all of that, which, yes, will be hard work and painful and might go on for a significant period, but is nothing compared to the rest of your life, his life, the children's lives.

Lots of big decisions in life cause short term upheaval, for example, changing career, moving country, and although these are a factor we don't allow them to become the main decision making factor about the whole thing. Planning a wedding is stressful and expensive but we do it because of the reward of the big day and, of course, the promise of a life together.

It is only because we perceive a divorce or separation to be a negative overall thing that the hump of the short term upheaval becomes insurmountable. It makes us question whether it is the right thing. If you don't focus on the short term - which is the right thing?

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 20:58:24

I completely agree kickass. I also think it is underestimated how much continuing energy is required once the relationship has ended. Especially if your ex-partner is abusive and, typically, won't take no for an answer or make it their life work to make your life as difficult as possible.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 21:05:09

Yes, sometimes women make the calculation that it's better to have the bastard inside pissing out (most of the time) than outside pissing in.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 21:08:48

Basil, 6 years post split and he is financially worse off than the NRP and certainly worse off than he was before the split when he was able to earn a fairly good salary (the split meant that he had to give up work). That is the norm for PWCs.

Kim, I agree that separation is extremely expensive for all involved in a relation breakdown.sad. But this is not and should not be seen as the woman's punishmenthmm. As you say, it is just what happens on a practical level.sad

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:10:15

Even if you do separate on good terms, the fact that you have children and are both responsible for them makes things hard. If you've got no children, there's no real reason to even talk to your ex.

When you have children, you have to communicate with a person who you once had a relationship with, work together and often go to the family home (if you are the NRP). It's hard to move on when your ex is still involved and you have to work together. And that's in a relationship where the people are on good terms.

I can't imagine how hard it must be where you have to work with an ex who's crap and manipulative and does not support their child.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 21:14:40

Yes it's the norm for PWC's. Your uncle's situation reflects that of the average PWC.

But statistically, male PWC's are likely to be better off than the average PWC. Your uncle notwithstanding, that is the stats tell us.

What is your point Diane? That people should stay together in order to maintain their standard of living?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 21:25:31

Basil, my point is that simply deciding that one is not happy should not be enough to destroy a family. Life and relationships need work and LTB should only be done after all other avenues to address the unhappiness have been explored. The consequences are too serious and repercussions too widespread for either parent to just decide that they are unhappy and leave.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 23-Sep-13 21:31:43

There is a difference between being unhappy in a relationship and being unhappy in general - I guess what you're saying is someone who is unhappy in general should not be quick to blame it on the relationship and end it as a way to solve this unhappiness, however, if they are unhappy in the relationship, then that is a reason to end it.

I'm not sure if we disagree here or not! If someone is unhappy with something unrelated to the relationship, or just with life in general, then ending the relationship won't help anyway. And they were a bit hasty with doing that. But I don't think that is the case in the vast majority of situations where one person leaves because they are unhappy.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 21:33:40

But LTB is an option only taken when all other avenues have been explored.

I don't really understand what the argument is.

Other people seem to know loads of couples who they assume split up over nothing.

I always assume that there was a reason for it, which I don't know about and which is none of my business.

Mental like that, me. grin

Yougotbale Mon 23-Sep-13 21:42:46

I think anyone is entitled to post, within the rules, what they like. i don't think it matters what you are told to do. I think women and men will LTB, if they want. i think any person can leave a relationship when they want. I wish this would cotton on with religions too.

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 21:44:45

Absolutely no one in the world has ever left a relationship for no reason simply because it's just not possible. Everyone does every single thing in their life for a reason. What was actually meant I think is "for no good reason" and then the issue is what counts as a "good" reason or even as a "good enough" reason.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 21:46:42

My posts were in response to two posts on pg1.
So women need justification for leaving a relationship do they?
I think the default is that it should be a last resort. But why should it be?

Yougotbale Mon 23-Sep-13 21:47:22

Cailindana - definitely not a good reason is, 'I left because people on the Internet told me'. So who cares what advice is given on a thread?

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 21:50:06

Certainly not I. Fwiw I'm totally in the AF/BBE camp on this one - if you want to leave a relationship, then leave.

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 21:50:42

Hollywood does not set a good example. The ex partner may have turned out to be a hero or the ex partners bond over an event (such as a tornado) and then they get back together at the end.

Ex partners are ex partners for a reason. Just because they save you / the world from destruction does not mean they've changed.

SinisterSal Mon 23-Sep-13 21:52:34

'just because they save the world from destruction does not mean they've changed'


sorry.....I'll go back to lurking

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 21:53:38

But tbh I haven't actually understood your responses Diane.

I still don't understand why the default should be to stay in a relationship rather than to leave one.

Except that it will make you poorer if you don't, so it's sensible to accept that you have to be unhappy for the next 10 years or however long it's considered reasonable to stick it out for before you're judged to have got to the stage of last resort.

No-one ever says how long the unhappiness should be allowed to last and also no-one says how much work the other party in the relationship should be doing in order to explore the causes of unhappiness - if any. I'm still fairly in the dark as to the rules re that.

CaptChaos Mon 23-Sep-13 21:54:59

Dionne The reason the PWC is often still worse off 5 years later tends to be down to childcare costs (money and time).

Basil, how do you suggest this can be avoided?

By making the NRP pay a reasonable amount towards their children's care, enforcing this properly, up to and including prison. Far too many NRP's are financially abusive toward their children and governments need to legislate to stop that happening, this is true of both male and female NRPs (although the majority of NRPs are female). Some people (women) stay in abusive shitty relationships for too long due to the fear of poverty or losing their present standard of living and how this will affect their children. This has been true for many people I know, and while I am well aware that the plural of anecdote isn't data, it does seem to be borne out by a lot of the LTB threads I've read on here.

The NRP is often better off because they do not have the money, energy and time sapping children. Hence they are referred to as NRP.

No, they are referred to as the NRP because they aren't resident in the same house as the children the majority of the time, not because they see their children as some kind of parasite. If it was seen as normal that NRPs (in most cases men) or in fact men within relationships took 50% of the responsibility for their children's care, then the balance of poverty would undoubtedly change.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 22:04:59

Basil the default position referred to was not staying, rather it was leaving as a last resort. In non-abusive relationships leaving should really only happen as a last resort for the reasons I mentioned.

Captchaos, children are money, energy and time sapping. It doesn't make them parasites.shock. It makes them children. As the PWC spends more time with them than a NRP, it stands to reason that most of the time, money and energy put into the DCs will be the PWC's.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:07:39

To suggest that someone needs 'justification' to leave a relationship suggests that they have to validate their reasons for leaving according to someone else's view of the world/relationship. Who gets to decide whether another person's reasons for leaving are valid? It sounds very controlling and basically is what has been done to women for centuries to keep them in relationships. The messages are still their now, as the OP alludes to, from media, films etc. Women, by and large know the consequences for them of leaving a relationship and those consequences are often worse than for men.

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:12:30

If a man tells you they have separated, do people automatically assume things about the reason why? Do you judge before finding out the reason?

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 22:13:44

Ultimately it is the DCs who decide whether the decision to leave was justified as it is they who live estranged from one parent and often in reduced circumstances without having any input. No one else really matters.

SinisterSal Mon 23-Sep-13 22:14:40

I don't think an adults' vague sense of dissatisfaction should trump a childs' sense of security. (i am not talking about deep unhappiness or abuse here)

A breakup, even the most amicable type, affect children. They hate any kind of change for a start, before you add in missing the absent parent, the financial implications and all that goes with it.

So, yeah, for parents of young children there should be a good reason to split. Relationships have a strong social aspect to them, they impact on the people around. They are not only about the people in them.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:15:21

The reasons you mentioned Diane, were mainly financial.

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 22:21:53

Do people leave otherwise happy relationships because of a "vague sense of dissatisfaction"?

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 22:24:31

Only twats do that, and I don't want to be partnered with a twat thanks very much. Off you pop, twatface.

I don't get why people would pressurise anyone to keep it together with such a person. I would be packing the bags, swigging wine and singing hallelujah as they walked out the door, tbh.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:27:44

Well yes, exactly.

Why would anyone think that someone who is so destructive and selfish, would be a good role model as a parent?

I'm seriously struggling to grasp this.

I understand that his or her purse or wallet is valuable, I do.

But I also think there are more important things than a family's standard of living - I think emotional and psychological health is immensely more important, call me a hippy.

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 22:28:21

Well exactly AF. I seriously doubt that many nice sane people in good relationships wake up one morning and think "hmmm feeling a bit vaguely dissatisfied today. Think I'll kick that lovely family of mine to the kerb."

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 22:29:07

Basil the first and main argument I made was DC welfare. Indeed I said that where there are no DCs, no justification was really needed to LTB.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:29:50

Well exactly CailinDana. Least of all women with young children.

Why is separation automatically considered a negative impact for children? What about living with unhappy parents? Is that not a negative impact? In fact is the negative impact that people consider happens when a relationship splits sometimes actually the result of the build up to that split?

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:31:13

And what AF said.

CailinDana Mon 23-Sep-13 22:33:04

I would always think living with not much money is better for children than living with two unhappy parents and that seems to be borne out by a recent thread with so many people saying they wished their own parents had separated.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:36:55

But you don't explain why the welfare of the children is adversely affected by a break up except from an economic POV Diane.

Which is a valid point, but unhappy parents who don't like each other, can wreak an awful lot more damage to a child, than growing up in poverty can.

And also we're back to the thing of the threat of poverty being used as a means to keep unhappy people together. It makes sense on one level to agree to stay together to maintain a good standard of living, but only if both people respect and value each other. If they don't, then what they're teaching their DC's about life and relationships, is incredibly destructive IMO.

FloraFox Mon 23-Sep-13 22:38:49

Dione how unhappy do you have to be to justify leaving a relationship? I don't get this, how do you measure it?

When DH and I were engaged and talking about the future, his attitude was (and is) that we would be together forever, through thick and thin, come what may. My attitude was (and is) we'll be together forever etc. unless we're not happy any more. He thought this meant I wouldn't take my vows seriously. I don't agree, I would try to make things better, address problems etc. more than if we were just in a casual relationship but I couldn't live in an unhappy marriage, it would be too corrosive for everyone.

He probably wonders every now and then if I'm going to fuck off for no good reason just as I sometimes wonder if he's only staying out of some sense of obligation. According to some people on this thread, we shouldn't have gotten married as we don't see eye to eye on this. But since we've bumbled along for nearly 20 years it's just as well I didn't post on here and ask for advice at the start not that I would have paid any attention to it.

SinisterSal Mon 23-Sep-13 22:39:06

Well is justification needed or not then?
It's up to the person themselves, whether other people feel it's warranted or not. No matter if anyone here thinks they are destructive, selfish, self indulgent or whatever. or if their kids or ex partner thinks it

CaptChaos Mon 23-Sep-13 22:40:10

dione children are money, energy and time sapping. It doesn't make them parasites. It makes them children.

Children are money, energy and time consuming whether a couple are together or not. Something that saps energy, time and money is a parasite, not a child.

As the PWC spends more time with them than a NRP, it stands to reason that most of the time, money and energy put into the DCs will be the PWC's.

However, if, as I said before, the NRP has their child support payments enforced and they take their parenting responsibilities as seriously as the PWC then this won't be the case, will it.

It's a win-win for some people though. They get to look down their noses at women people who leave or are left by their partners, because they 'should have worked harder at the relationship'. It enables NRPs to not take financial responsibility for their children by not enforcing child maintenance decisions. Then they get to vilify women PWCs who have to fall back on the social security system in order to help to pay for those children the NRP has decided they don't have to pay for/have anything to do with.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Mon 23-Sep-13 22:44:17

I'm sorry, I haven't entirely taken in this thread, because it is late, but I want to post so I remember to read it tomorrow.

I just wanted to say - I think it is hugely important that it should be acceptable to leave someone without being judged for the reason. As I don't have kids obviously some of that discussion goes over my head, but it strikes me how many women will talk about a partner they've really only been with for a short while, with no ties like children, and will still feel they must justify their actions in leaving.

I do think (tentatively and ignorantly, perhaps) that children respond to what is expected. A divorce is more traumatic for children in a society where divorce is rare. I am obviously not advocating mass divorce just to make children of divorced parents feel ok, but I do think that to some extent, it helps to say 'this is normal, this is ok'.

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:44:17

I think relationship counselling is a good thing if children are involved. I was on a thread elsewhere where it was clear there was emotional abuse going on. The OP was somehow able to express how she felt to her partner and it seems to have prompted a change in him and he wants to work on the relationship. The good thing is that the OP became aware through what people were asking that he was emotionally abusive.

He might change. He might not. But it's a start. She did not want the family to break up (nice village, children at a good school and a "comfortable life". But a crap and abusive relationship)

Of course, if she had LTB, no one would have blamed her.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:46:30

SS I don't think justification is needed to anyone except yourself.

People should be honest with themselves, even if they choose not to be to other people.

FloraFox Mon 23-Sep-13 22:46:43

It's problematic for me to say that a person cannot leave without a good reason. It could encourage abusive behaviour where the leavee demands justification from the leaver and there is an argument about whether the reason is good enough. Lots of people are not great at articulating their unhappiness or just don't want to. You shouldn't expect people to advocate their way out of a relationship. I don't think that's the right way to go at all.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:48:49

Also a lot of people can't actually articulate their reasons until years later.

Sometimes people act instinctively.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 22:51:42

There is enough pressure on women from a male centred society to keep servicing men in crap relationships

The very last thing needed by someone knowing they have to go for their own mental health is the thought that they would be judged. Some abusers are very plausible to the outside world, with a very carefully cultivated Nice Guy persona. If you cannot imagine this, and bang on about needing a "good reason" to leave a relationship, you are part of the problem, tbh.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:52:15

Yes Flora, that is what worries me too. I also think insisting on justification on leaving a relationship would benefit men and disadvantage women because we live in the imbalance of a patriarchy.

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:52:44

Going back to the OP, I don't think the default advice is to stay with your man, no matter what.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 22:52:58

Basil, the first reason I gave was the DCs estrangement from a parent, the second reason i gave was the financial repercussions (I happen to know a lot about this aspect), the third reason i gave was the wider fallout regarding other relationships.

I believe that unhappy parents have a duty to explore other ways of being happy and should only leave if the work they put in is to no avail. I am shock that you think I was suggesting bringing up DCs in a miserable, damaging home.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 22:53:31

X-post there with AF smile

kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:54:12

"The very last thing needed by someone knowing they have to go for their own mental health is the thought that they would be judged"


kim147 Mon 23-Sep-13 22:59:20

I believe that unhappy parents have a duty to explore other ways of being happy and should only leave if the work they put in is to no avail."

What if deep down you know that there will be no change? That the person you loved does not want to be with you and no amount of work will change that?

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 22:59:37

I think you're over-stating the risk of estrangement from a parent Dione, most kids whose parents don't live together now see both parents regularly.

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 23:01:12

....and how long is reasonable to keep trying to "explore" these other options ?

child is a baby, primary, high school age ?

FloraFox Mon 23-Sep-13 23:02:03

My DBIL's xW left him for no "good reason" other than that she was not happy. He has the DCs. She has never given a reason for leaving him except she doesn't want to be married to him any more, as far as I know she did not explore other ways of being happy or put any more "work" into it. There are lots of things that are tough on their DCs post split but at least their DS no longer screams "I'm going to kill myself" when he gets in an argument with other kids.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 23:02:53

But the thing is Dione everyone thinks that.

Everyone thinks women parents have a duty to explore ways of being happy before they decide to leave.

I'm trying to get a sense of what this exploration would consist of, how long for, in what conditions etc.

For example, I've lost count of the women who "explored" alternative ways of being happy for years, while the men they lived with were content with the way things were, so didn't do any work. So all that exploration, for all that time, was a waste of time and there was no point because one person can't fix a relationship.

SinisterSal Mon 23-Sep-13 23:04:24

Argh my post got eaten

in sum

To the Question why shouldn't women LTB, I answer When what they gain is minimal compared to what their children lose.
Everyone must judge that for themselves, there are too many variables for anyone elses' viewpoints to carry any weight.
Facing judgement is just another hurdle - none of this is easy.

I thnk what's getting the harder-of-thinking so agitated about the encouragement women get to LTB on MN is a failure to understand that some faults in a relationship are unfixable and actually really obvious, so it's better to end the relationship quickly rather than waste time and energy and money 'working on it.'
If there are clear indications that a man considers himself the person in the relationship and the woman a 'woman' ie something between a cooker and a puppy, then no matter what she does, he is never going to perceive her as fully human or give up on the idea that he is entitled to control her. Unfortunately, this sometimes only becomes clear once DC have arrived.

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 23:16:56

But how do you measure before you split up what the children could lose after you split up?

I feel very uncomfortable at the suggestion that women should sacrifice their happiness and possible well being on an assumption that being in a relationship with their father will be more beneficial to children than not being in a relationship.

Again that seems very heteronormative.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 23:20:54

Chaos, you say consume. I say sap. It doesn't mean that I consider my DS a parasite.shock. And I know just how sapping it was. Particularly since I was recovering from the breakdown of my family. I was the woman you say I am vilifying.

I took my DS and 3bags of our stuff and I left his dad. And my home. And my job, friend's, neighbors and town. I had nothing but the remnants of that month's wages and my son. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Best thing I ever did. It is also the best thing for a lot of people.

However I am aware that not all relationships are bad as mine was. I am also aware that the vast majority of men are better than my ExH. So where there exists respect work can be done to improve the relationship and should be done before leaving is considered.

BasilBabyEater Mon 23-Sep-13 23:22:03

I also think it's wrong.

I don't see why anyone should expect good outcomes for children if they grow up in a home where one or both of the parents have an underlying unhappiness.

SinisterSal Mon 23-Sep-13 23:29:14

scallops - I am talking not in the context of abuse of any kind. I am coming at this from a few comments above - I miss being able to go out and shag randoms, oh the single life, kind of thing - yeah, I do absolutely think that people, mothers and fathers should suck it up for a few years. But what I think doesn't matter. Only the people involved really know what's going on, and me and my opinions can just fuck off basically. And quite properly.

It's not just societal expectations that hurt kids being caught up in a seperation, it's the realities of missing the daily unobtrusive presense of a loved and loving parent, usually dad (no abuse, remember), some kids don't settle to the two homes thing, even the most benign of divorces cause upset.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 23:41:35

Basil, you are absolutely right. That is why I believe that the parents should address that unhappiness and see what can be done about it.smile

Oh and apologies. I've just reread the thread and realized that my posts may have been a bit finance heavy, but I am well aware of the reasons why the PWC is financially worse off.

But, next week, for the first time in 51/2 years, I am getting my first wage. It's crap, but it's mine and I am buying me some new knickers before I spend a penny on groceries, bills or DS.grin

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 23-Sep-13 23:42:42

Proper ones from M&S.grin

AnyFucker Mon 23-Sep-13 23:43:54

Good for you, Dione. Onward and upward smile

scallopsrgreat Mon 23-Sep-13 23:47:40

Yes I see what you are saying Sal and I am really not advocating selfish behaviour by either sex. But as it stands women are routinely encouraged to remain and work at unhappy relationships in a way that men aren't. There are more barriers and consequences for women on leaving a relationship, especially if that involves leaving their children than for men. It isn't an equal footing. I also think that what is considered selfish behaviour in women and men differs.

In the main I don't think it is women that have a problem thinking about the consequences for their children should they split up.

peggyundercrackers Tue 24-Sep-13 00:08:45

scallops can you show me where men are not encouraged to stay in relationships in the same way woman are? surely whatever is levelled at one can be levelled at the other? and likewise whatever is said about men can be said about woman? after all we are all human beings with the same behavioural traits - some behaviours are more extreme in some people than others but they exist in everyone.

I struggle fully with why people come onto the internet and ask for advice from people they don't know about a situation these strangers don't know - and then act on it. the internet is not RL - its all make believe. The same people keep cropping up with the same advice and are always the ones who are cynical about relationships and men and always say there needs to be more to whatever the situation is, they never accept it is like the OP says it is - they know better. I think there are lots of trolls on MN and lots of hypocrites and im sure they don't act in RL as they do on here. If they do their view of RL is extremely complicated and I would expect them to be dysfunctional as a person. It is easy on the internet to say I would do this or that but the reality is you don't know what you would do when faced with the same situation in RL - you no doubt would like to think that's how you would behave but that's what would happen in your utopian world, unfortunately people don't live like that.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 24-Sep-13 00:20:30

The source of the unhappiness is not always the relationship. And it's fair to say that any negative aspect of life impacts on family life. Sometimes the source is unprocessed grief, problems at work or with extended family, debt or that vague sense of dissatisfaction writ large. By dealing with these things a person and their family can be happier or happy again.

For a some people, exploring and working through the problems can make them happier and the relationship stronger.

For others, not so much.sad.

GoshAnneGorilla Tue 24-Sep-13 00:31:38

I just wanted to query the point that non-monogamous/nontraditional relationships may be a solution to the problems women face.

IMHO, it's not the structure of the relationship, it's the people in it, no relationship model is abuse proof.

Also, women are socialised strongly to be undemanding and to not express their needs and wants, so often ending up in relationships where the man's needs are seen as the only ones which count. I can't see non-monogamous relationships altering this.

However, I totally agree with relationships not being seen as the be all and end all of life.

kickassangel Tue 24-Sep-13 04:58:35

Thinking about this more, many of the things that I cited as reasons why people stay, would actually cease to be the major hurdles that they are if it was anticipated that relationships would come and go.

If society saw it as the default setting to be single, then a lot of the problems would be that it is harder to become joined together than it is to separate.

E.g. My parents wouldn't be always and forever ashamed and embarrassed by me if I was divorced, and treat me either as a charity case to be pitied or a a naughty school child who forgot their homework. Telling them I was getting a divorce would not be such an issue.

Finances would be kept separate, no joint accounts, but laws (enforced) that meant that becoming a parent, even the result of a ons, meant that the child was financially supported. Then separating out finances and agreeing child support would be simpler.

Housing would be the tricky one, as it doesn't make much sense for a couple who want to live together to be separate, but the situation ATM of keeping children in the family home where possible with their main carer would probably continue.

I do think that the parent who becomes the NRP should be financially liable to provide support, and that should be swiftly and effectively put into place. There are too many examples of men (predominantly) not paying enough to give a decent standard of living for their children. By not enforcing child support, it is a way of punishing the parent who takes care of the kids. Unless they earn enough for at least 2 support workers such as nannies and housekeeper, they will have to sacrifice their career, so they do need to be supported.

Hellokitten Tue 24-Sep-13 09:38:24

I just left my marriage, it looks like for no reason to many people, but it was emotionally abusive and I was unhappy. I owe it to my children to be happy so I can be a good mother. As a cou

Hellokitten Tue 24-Sep-13 09:41:59

As a couple we were crappy parents and crappy role models. My kids were learning that men treat women like shit and that's ok. And it's not ok at all.
Honestly, leaving is the best feminist lesson I can teach my kids.

Throughout the whole history of human culture and society, marriage and family structure have been set up for the benefit of men. It's always been a way of securing the domestic service and breeding capacity of women for men. This is why it has traditionally been made as difficult as possible for a woman to survive (economically or socially) without a male owner. Up until pretty recently, women were not allowed access to money, and if they were not clearly marked and guarded as the property of a man, any man who felt like it could acquire them (usually by raping them). In some parts of the world this is still the case.

The reason for all the propaganda to the effect that women want and need 'love' from a man is so that women will continue to want to service men domestically, emotionally, socially, sexually and have and raise men's children. This is why some men hate feminism so much - feminism encourages women to reject the role of men's servants/breeding animals. Misogynist men think that this will be the end of society and Must Be Stopped. Of course the solution to a lot of 'broken marriages' is not to keep making it impossible for women to walk away - it's for men to treat women like human beings. Men need to do their share of the domestic work and consider that their female partners' wishes, needs and feelings are just as important as their own.

BelaLugosisShed Tue 24-Sep-13 11:51:22

"I've seen many a thread on here urging the op to ltb for the most minor issue"

I've never seen anyone advised to LTB for a minor issue hmm

You see women on the relationships board every single day trying to find reasons not to LTB, even in the most extremely abusive situations - unfortunately they tend to take notice of the worst advice ( by creeps such as Cronullansw angry) and are offended and defensive to all the sane advice from the very many women who have lived through similar.

kickassangel Tue 24-Sep-13 14:38:17

The default 'setting' is that adults should want to be in a long term relationship. This serves many purposes for society.

If all adults lived as individuals, aside from the issues of space/money etc, the biggest problem would be that each adult would be seen as an individual with equal rights. It is way easier to think of someone who is a sahp as somehow 'lesser' than an adult who works outside the home.

If we all lived as independent adults, we would be visibly seen to be as equals more easily.

SirChenjin Tue 24-Sep-13 14:54:33

That's far too simplistic. You would still have those who stay at home with carer's responsibilities being thought of (by some people) as 'lesser', those who are out of work for whatever reason as 'lesser' and those WOH would still find themselves in jobs or careers which are seen as 'lesser'. I don't buy into that, but I understand some do.

kickassangel Tue 24-Sep-13 15:10:47

yes, it's simplistic, but we do as a society subscribe to the notion of the sahp being the 'lesser' half of a partnership.

Think about phrases as 'her indoors', 'the little woman', and how govt census sheets asked for the main wage earner to be the 'head of the household' wtf - why does a household need a head?

We definitely value work outside the home more (although consider the importance of being an insurance clerk v raising a child), and it is easier to sideline the person at home if they are seen as playing second fiddle to a 'real' person. It certainly wouldn't solve all the problems, but it is much harder to argue that a sah care giver is somehow the 'second' adult, and reliant upon the 'head of the household' if they are actually the only adult, and therefore the 'head' in a household.

arsenaltilidie Tue 24-Sep-13 16:00:51

SGB a disagree, marriage was for the benefit of women.
Marriage meant a man should provide for his wife whilst she raised his children instead of having a child and leaving her to it.
Hence most marriage laws meant a wife was provided for in the event of a divorce.

This is why it has traditionally been made as difficult as possible for a woman to survive
It was/is difficult for women to raise a child and work at the same time. Most jobs probably required to be away from home for a considerable amount of time, so it meant it was easier for one partner to work and the other to raise children. That probably worked for a lot of people and they were happy with it.
I cant remember what study, but even today most women would prefer to be a stay at home wife.

all the propaganda to the effect that women want and need 'love' from a man
No propaganda, everyone needs to feel loved one way or the other.

The issues is women should stop tolerating shite from men and the men will change.
This should start at young age when girls start dating.

scallopsrgreat Tue 24-Sep-13 16:31:30

No the issue is that men should be taught not to behave that way. This should start from a young age when boys start dating, through parents, school, role models, media etc. Not by the girls they may well be abusing. That is victim-blaming

Marriage was set up as a means for men to have access to women's bodies. It is not a coincidence that it was only 1990 when it became illegal for men to rape women within marriage. Mind you it does provide women who are primary carers of children more financial security.

GoshAnnGorilla: "I just wanted to query the point that non-monogamous/nontraditional relationships may be a solution to the problems women face." My thoughts on this would be more an emphasis on singledom and platonic relationships with other women (although I did mention non-monogamy). I agree with the structure of relationships as they stand now though so certainly get your point.

"scallops can you show me where men are not encouraged to stay in relationships in the same way woman are? surely whatever is levelled at one can be levelled at the other? and likewise whatever is said about men can be said about woman? after all we are all human beings with the same behavioural traits - some behaviours are more extreme in some people than others but they exist in everyone."

Not sure where to begin with this. This is the feminist section and feminism does class analysis. Men as a group do exhibit different behavioural traits to women as a group. For example many more men are violent than women. This does not mean that some women aren't violent and that some men aren't. Society does teach men and women different values. Women are taught that their value is in their looks. Men are taught that what they do and say is important. Violence is tolerated much more in men than women (boys will be boys etc). This has a knock on effect to behaviour. With regards to relationships you only have to look as far as Hollywood and the messages given out there in romances and comedies and action films etc etc. Women are in so many of those films only in relation to men. Women changing their name on marriage - again their status becomes more in relation to the man they are with. If you want to take it further lets look at child brides in India, dowries, women being considered on the shelf in their 20s until relatively recently (and in some countries still are), FGM etc etc etc. Not to mention the stigma in some cultures and countries directed at women when divorced. I remember myths being peddled in the 80's when women were allowed much more freedom to divorce their husbands, as to how hard it was for a divorced woman to find a man. Lets look at the government and marriage tax allowance, taking away child benefit mainly from women based on their husbands income. All these things are insidious and work at keeping women in relationships.

slug Tue 24-Sep-13 16:45:42

Wow arsenltiltide, there's a lot of assumptions in that last post.

Care to provide evidence for any of them?

SinisterSal Tue 24-Sep-13 18:34:34

Thanks scallops for getting where I was coming form last night, I wasn't being very clear. Basically what I want is for men to be held to the same high standards women are, rather than a race to the bottom, behaviour wise.

Kickassangel, your point is interesting, society would look different if single people were the norm, and relationships something you actively considered and chose, not an expectation.

Aresenal. That's a very ...idiosynchratic ...interpretation.

FloraFox Tue 24-Sep-13 18:45:41

slug don't encourage the evo-psych-babbler.

kickassangel Tue 24-Sep-13 23:04:06

I think that's what the op was driving at. Why do we have this expectation that relationships should last unless we are truly unhappy? LTB is a last resort. If it were more acceptable to be single, and less financially precarious, particularly for care givers, then people would stay if they were happy, rather than only leaving if they were unhappy.

GoshAnneGorilla Wed 25-Sep-13 00:22:38

I think it's not just about societal pressures around staying, but entering relationships. Lots of women see red flags from the start of relationships, but the "anything's better then being single" mentality, means they often ignore those gut feelings.

Also, I was horrified on the other thread just how many women said that family and friends had encouraged them to stay in abusive relationships.

Aresenaltildie: it wouldn't be at all difficult for women to raise children alone if there was either state-funded childcare or an acceptance of children in the workplace. Which there used to be in pre-industrial cultures (which did, of course, have their own problems) - if Mummy was a baker, the children were in the bakery, carrying the bread about; if the parents were tailors, the kids were sweeping up and passing the needles. It's only after the industrial revolution that the whole business of 'employment' and the 'breadwinner with a WIFE at home' became such a big deal.

kickassangel Wed 25-Sep-13 04:48:57

Yes to people expecting a relationship to go somewhere and not just be for fun. I think there is huge pressure to find a partner rather than just have a not too serious relationship.

CailinDana Wed 25-Sep-13 06:49:11

It's worth remembering too though that while societal pressure does definitely exist, people do have a genuine desire to be in a close, loving relationship. That desire makes people vulnerable to manipulation. Add in a bit of societal brainwashing and pressure and it's not really hard to see how people get trapped.
What definitely needs to be thrown out is the idea that once you have children with a man you're entirely stuck. Yes, you're linked to him but you are in no way obligated to carry on a relationship eith him if you don't want to.

kim147 Wed 25-Sep-13 07:25:16

"What definitely needs to be thrown out is the idea that once you have children with a man you're entirely stuck. Yes, you're linked to him but you are in no way obligated to carry on a relationship eith him if you don't want to."

And that statement should also work both ways.

CailinDana Wed 25-Sep-13 07:47:19

True kim, except from my friends' experiences it seems plenty of men have no trouble walking away both from the relationship and the children.

arsenaltilidie Wed 25-Sep-13 09:05:07

SGB Pre industrial revolution men worked outside and women worked inside.
However way you look it at, its better to raise children supported by a partner than to raise them on your own.
Hence marriage was for the benefit of women, to stop men from simply walking away from their responsibilities.

Scallops: I do not mean abused women at all, I mean young girls who tolerate shit behaviour (not abuse) from other young boys.
Feminism didnt rise from 'teaching men to respect women' but rose from women demanding respect.
Its all nice to say "teach young boys to treat women with respect and you will get women respect back" but its actually not true.
Young men can get away with treating women like shit, hence young women should be taught not to tolerate it all.

Pre industrial revolution men worked outside and women worked inside

Do you have any evidence for this assumption? What about women in farming communities?

However way you look it at, its better to raise children supported by a partner than to raise them on your own.

It's better to raise children supported by others than on your own, I'd agree. Doesn't have to be a partner though. What about extended family, a community etc. In fact, the current (you say) supportive model actually leads to the main care giver being alone with DC for much of the day while their partner works out of the home. So unless you mean purely financial support, which can be provided whether the parents are in a romantic relationship or not, there's often less practical support with this model.

Its all nice to say "teach young boys to treat women with respect and you will get women respect back" but its actually not true.

Do you have evidence that this isn't true? Do you assume this is the case with other forms of education as well? Teach someone to understand mathematics, but don't expect them to understand mathematics confused. Or does this maxim only apply to men's behaviour towards women, which you assume is women's responsibility to control somehow?

SinisterSal Wed 25-Sep-13 10:16:11

no that is not true aresenal. Though if you have evidence to the contrary I will revise my opinions. otherwise you are just saying pointless words

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Wed 25-Sep-13 11:24:29

Just popping in to add my 'that's not true' to the chorus.

Pre-industrial revolution women didn't necessarily work 'inside' more than men. FWIW, for long periods of history, it hasn't been unusual for single mothers to raise children (and administrate large farms or estates, if they were wealthy women), either in the absence of their husbands or as widows. There were social structures in support of this, but people also just got on with it.

I'm not sure why the fictionalised version of history that you're pushing here would matter, but there we are.

I assume it matters because it supports the idealised fiction that it's natural for women to be at home doing housework, that's the way it has been through most of history so feminists should just shut up?

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Wed 25-Sep-13 11:36:47

Oh, yes, I agree that's why it's useful for us to point out the inaccuracies.

I just don't follow how it makes a sensible argument to say 'hmm, I'm sure what I see as traditional gender roles must have a long history, I shall therefore state that this is so, and this will prove they are Right and Proper in the modern day'.

I mean, people also used to use ground-up toad as medicine, and I think we're all glad they don't any more.

scallopsrgreat Wed 25-Sep-13 11:37:38

Yes you do mean abused women arsenal. If a man is treating their partner like shit then they are abusing them. There is no reason not to teach boys and men not to abuse women. None at all. You teach them not to steal, murder etc so teach them not to treat women like shit. They are the ones doing wrong, they are the ones that need to be taught. This doesn't (and shouldn't) have to come from the women they are treating like shit. It should come from all around that it is unacceptable. Just like it is unacceptable to steal. You don't ask victims of theft to teach their thieves.

And another one to say 'that's not true'. 70% of the world's farming is done by women.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 25-Sep-13 11:46:53

It is not women's responsibility to "not put up with" bad behaviour from men. Bullies don't stop bullying because people don't put up with it - they just move onto the next weakest candidate. Some women don't have the ability or agency to "police bad behaviour" - they may be physically or mentally disabled or impaired, they may have been abused in childhood, they may be elderly, they may be in a vulnerable position (e.g. having small children).

I totally agree that men should be taught not to behave in abusive ways, and I think this starts far, far before they start dating. This is a good article (although it's a little "sex positive/yay look how kinky I am" for my taste, nevertheless, the message is spot on)

The values that apply in relationships apply all through life, it's important to be sure that everyone is happy when (for example) playing a game, to talk about your intentions, to be honest, to be able to discuss things rationally, to not be afraid of your own or someone else's emotions (or consider them shameful), to accept when something is over, and, yes, not to give up at the first hurdle (although I think perseverance FOR EVER is counterproductive).

These are things we can teach our sons and our daughters from a very early age, but in fact a lot of parenting wisdom or traditional approaches discourage a lot of this - punishing bad behaviour (rather than problem solving) can encourage lying to avoid being caught/found out, even if you adopt the rule of punishing less if they are honest, they still stand to "win" if they are not found out at all. Children aren't always taught how to be aware of another's feelings, only that stop/no means stop, which is too late (and not even always that - a lot of adults will tickle a child until they are out of breath and unable to say stop whereas really we should encourage them to engage in activities which the other person can easily express their like/dislike of), lots of being afraid of children's emotions, e.g. time out/naughty step/ignoring tantrums to address anger rather than encouraging them to express it in an acceptable way, telling children to stop crying (I've seen children threatened with punishment if they did not stop crying) and the other extreme, being afraid to ever tell a child anything which might upset them (including telling them off), encouragement of perseverance above acceptance that something is over/not happening, or over-eagerness of parents to solve and fix everything for their children, again, because they are afraid of their emotions of sadness/anger/fear etc.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 25-Sep-13 11:49:22

I do think that women should also be taught the signs of a wanker though and not to put up with this from an early age, but not because this will magically change men into princes, but for her own sake, because it's better for her to have fulfilling relationships.

LRDMaguliYaPomochTebeSRaboti Wed 25-Sep-13 11:52:07

I agree, yoni.

I think both boys and girls should be taught more about the law and finance before they get into situations where they're not protected/financially abused. Not to suggest it's their fault but because it's better to know by being taught than to learn by a bad experience.

scallopsrgreat Wed 25-Sep-13 12:00:05

"I do think that women should also be taught the signs of a wanker though and not to put up with this from an early age, but not because this will magically change men into princes, but for her own sake, because it's better for her to have fulfilling relationships." Absolutely agree.

Women should not be the gatekeepers or responsible for men's behaviour, ultimately.

Can you imagine this: children should be taught not to accept neglectful or abusive behaviour from their parents. This is the only way that parents will learn not to neglect or abuse their children, if children refuse to accept this behaviour from them.

OK, it's a little different because children have even less power than young (or indeed fully adult) women. But the principle is the same: the victim of the abusive behaviour is not responsible for it because they didn't act to prevent it.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 25-Sep-13 12:32:51

YY, and children accept what happens to them as normal and love their parents even throughout horrible treatment. sad

I forgot a category in my "vulnerable" part too, a very common one - older teenage girls (15-19) in relationships with men in their twenties or thirties. Not always an abusive situation, of course, but huge, huge potential for abuse because it's almost always her first or one of her first relationships with an older man who she trusts to take care of her, and it almost becomes a very fatherly role even if she does not see it that way. She doesn't always realise if he does treat her badly, because she assumes that must just be what relationships, sex, men are like, or it looks protective rather than controlling, or she assumes it is his different perspective as he is older, or she is still forming her own sense of self and hence is happy to mould to what he says as she doesn't have a strong sense of who she is yet.

It is not appropriate to tell someone "Well you shouldn't let him treat you that way." She's not letting him. He just is.

TheSecretOfTheNile Wed 25-Sep-13 13:02:42

My long term marriage ended this year, and it's been one of the most painful things ever to happen to me. It was last winter that he left, but even last night I was awake half the night replaying in my mind moments that I now realise were crucial, and, without wishing to be too OTT, mourning.

The thing is, hardly anyone knows the 'good reason' for the breakup. I've been in counselling since January and haven't even told my counsellor the half of it. I can't read those lists of what counts as abuse still, as it's too traumatic. I deliberately haven't told my parents much, as it'd just cause them huge pain. In all of thus my priority has been to love and nurture the dc, and look after myself and keep our lives (mine and the dcs') on an even keel. Thedc are doing great. I am incredibly proud of them.

So I can't see how anyone could judge whether the reason for my marriage breakup was 'good' or not, because they just don't know it. I have had people try to 'diagnose' what's gone wrong, but they've all been way off beam.

Please don't judge from the outside - no-one can know what has led to a relationship breakdown sometimes. Sometimes it is obvious, yes, if someone comes into wirk with black eyes all the time. But often it's not; that doesn't mean it's less real or less traumatic.

kickassangel Wed 25-Sep-13 15:48:02

Secret - that is very sad for you, and partly why (i think) the OP was asked.

The idea that there has to be a 'good reason' rather people being willing to accept that the relationship isn't working. IF it could just be accepted that people reach the end of the road, without having to go over it all and work out why. It seems to be seen as 'good' to be a relationship and 'bad' to end it, yet we know that that isn't always the case.

SDhopeful Wed 25-Sep-13 15:56:03

SONTN Thank you for posting. I am so sorry for your pain, you have so clearly demonstrated that it is not a simple x=y - far more complicated, and people outside are in no position to commentate.

BasilBabyEater Wed 25-Sep-13 16:07:09

I think that's part of the problem isn't it; the extremely harsh and unempathetic and self-righteous assumption, that people who split up haven't got a "good reason" for doing so.

I don't presume to know why some couples split up. Unless I'm told different, I give my fellow human beings the benefit of the doubt and assume they're sensible enough not to cause disruption in their relationships, friendships, living arrangements, jobs sometimes, their children's lives etc., unless it was for reasons which they deemed good. I accept that they may not choose to tell me what those reasons are. I also accept that those reasons might not be reasons I might choose for leaving - but in most other areas of life, people seem to be able to accept that everyone's different and what works for one person doesn't work for another - they're happy to accept that some people can be Muslim while others can be atheists for example - it's just when it comes to relationship breakdown, that people start demanding people feel things the same as they would in that situation and set the same boundaries and the same bar for leaving.

Which makes me wonder why people have so much investment in other people's relationships, that they can make hard and fast rules where they wouldn't in most other situations. It shows how threatening to the social order, relationship breakdown is. Good, because the social order is shit.

CailinDana Wed 25-Sep-13 16:51:53

I think it's easier for older generations to hang on to the older ideas about marriage than to admit that they/their siblings/friends stayed in awful relationships and wasted their lives for nothing. Also it's easier to villify single mothers than to admit that millions of women were caused unbelievable heartbreak and anguish by being forced to give up children against their will. To think we live in a society that perpetuated such a cruel practice is hard to accept - easier to spout on about how important marriage is in an attempt to justify what amounted to life-long torture of women for the "crime" of having sex out of marriage. And that's without even vcontemplating the prisons for such women (mainly in Ireland) where women literally served life sentences. When you consider that dark history the fact that now divorce/single parenthood is merely frowned upon actually looks like progress.

ZutAlorsDidier Wed 25-Sep-13 17:34:58

What a great thread, with so much food for thought. Thank you to everyone who has told such powerful and personal stories.

YoniBotts said:

"and we did the normal things as happen in a relationship, like moving in together, getting engaged, having a child, because that's just what people do."

I was in a relationship with a man who was very very angry with me for not doing all that. He never asked me to move in with him (for instance) - let alone asked me nicely, romantically, flatteringly - but after a certain period of time he started bitterly throwing it into arguments as an accusation, that we didn't live together, as if it was his right that I was denying him. Not only did he think we should be living together "by now", but all the magazines had told him that the woman would make it happen, because women are desperate for that sort of thing to happen. All he had to do was sit back and wait for him to be set up in a clean, tidy home full of food, managed by an organised and financially stable woman - and this wasn't happening - he was still reliant on his own crappy personal resources, eating fried chicken and living with the empty boxes and running out of money the last 10 days of every month. How could I deny him his birthright?

It is interesting to me to see now in retrospect that I was under the protection of powerful cultural forces that were also the whole problem with me that I was with this man in the first place. I mean: I was brought up very strictly RC to the extent that living with a man was unthinkable. In a way I was empowered by this because I thought I could date and no one had the right to expect anything more of me. But: in a way, I was also damaged by this though, had very low self esteem because of the way I was always being told I was bad etc, I was extremely guilty about sleeping with anyone (among other things, I was guilty well before I was sexually active) and had written myself off as a bad lot who didn't deserve a good man or any sort of love.

Thank goodness things change

kickassangel Wed 25-Sep-13 22:44:45

Well thanks to this thread I have just firmed up my plans for this term's paper for my MA, and the tutor is happy for me to cite social media if I want to.

I shall be theorizing about how the pressure to maintain a relationship affects the power dynamics within a couple.

Don't worry, I won't be quoting individuals, more saying general stuff about how common it is for people to assume that maintaining a relationship is the default setting.

Darkesteyes Thu 26-Sep-13 01:07:18

YY Basil Society treats people like one big homogenous mass. Like we are all the same and we are not.

MaddAddam Thu 26-Sep-13 12:16:42

Generally I do think, as a feminist, that many many women would be better off without the men they are in relationships with. There are studies that suggest that single women are the happiest, then married men, then single men, then married women the least happy. And when you read about how much housework and childcare and emotional work many women are doing, unilaterally, in their relationships, I don't find that very surprising.

But I do avoid posting on Relationships threads, a bracing feminist LTB isn't always what people want to hear. And I'm not blaming individual men who are often victims of the patriarchal system too, I don't think most men are bastards, but societal expectations and habits make it quite easy for them to freeload off women in marriage or marriage-like relationships. If I had a partner willing to do most of the housework, and to sort all the family networking out, and so on, and the whole of society expecting them to be doing it, I'd probably let them do it too.

curlew Thu 26-Sep-13 12:24:33

Why shouldn't women LTB?

Because women are the relationship makers and emotion keepers. The smoothers and the appeasers. That's their role in the maintainance of the patriarchy. If they stopped doing that, the centre would not hold.

BasilBabyEater Thu 26-Sep-13 12:45:34

Yes agree Curlew.

Kickass that sounds great! Really interesting and enjoyable - hope it goes well.

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